Sunday, September 14, 2008



Secretary-General, Union of Faculty and Employees of Saint Louis




Dear Colleagues,

Last month, there have been some “papers” circulating around the campus about unresolved issues in the University such as (1) contractualization, (2) the union becoming a union of the administration because many officers of the UFESLU are now department heads, and (3) an attack on Father Jess Hechanova.

I want to categorically state that I DID NOT MAKE THOSE “PAPERS.” However, I AGREE TO SOME EXTENT to the criticisms made. Below are explanations on certain issues in the University.

I. About our taxes

Last January 29, 2008, the UFESLU submitted to the SLU Administration the following proposals:

(a) the 12,000 economic package should be RECLASSIFIED as RICE SUBSIDY so that this amount would NOT BE TAXABLE; and

(b) the EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS of the children of SLU employees should be made into a SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM so that the tuition fee will NOT BE TAXABLE

HOWEVER, UNTIL NOW (!) or after SIX MONTHS (!) from the time the UFESLU submitted these proposals, the SLU Administration HAS NOT ANSWERED our proposals. Apay ngay nga haan da sumungbat? Bassit laeng met daytoy nga dawat tayo…

II. Contractualization

If we are to read our collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the probationary period of college teachers is two years or four semesters (CONTINUOUS and SATISFACTORY). So, on the FIFTH SEMESTER (after the four semesters of continuous and satisfactory service), the teacher should be PERMANENT. But in SLU, there are many teachers who have met the above qualifications and yet they are still considered contractuals (!).

The UFESLU is now doing some move to resolve this conflict. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved WITHIN the University and there is no need to file a case OUTSIDE. Apay ngay? Apay mabalin aya nga FOREVER contractual ti maysa nga teacher? Ni apo padi met…

III. Department Heads as officers of the UFESLU

Some of the officers of the UFESLU were elected as officers WHILE THEY WERE DEPARTMENT HEADS or GRADUATE PROGRAM COORDINATORS. So, the employees voted for them even if the employees knew that they are department heads or graduate program coordinators. The others officers were only appointed as department heads after they were elected as UFESLU officers.

In a company, the employees are classified as (1) Managers, (2) Supervisors, and (3) rank-and-file. In SLU, the Managers are usually the HEADS (or Directors, Superintendent, Deans) of the different offices. Supervisors are those “employees who, in the interest of the employer, effectively recommend such managerial actions if the exercise of such authority is not merely routinary or clerical in nature but requires the use of independent judgment” [Art. 212 (m), Labor Code]. Rank-and-file are (just like us) the ordinary employees. The UFESLU is a union of the rank-and-file employees.

Under the law (Art. 245, Labor Code), MANAGERS CANNOT JOIN the UNION of the rank-and-file employees. So a Dean, Director, Superintendent, University President, University Treasurer, University Registrar or a Vice-President CANNOT join the UFESLU.

Also, SUPERVISORS CANNOT join the UNION of the rank-and-file (Art. 245, Labor Code). The reason why managers and supervisors cannot join the union of the rank-and-file is because if these managerial employees (or Supervisory employees) would belong to a Union, the latter (managerial or supervisory employees) might not be assured of their loyalty to the Union in view of evident conflict of interests. The Union can also become company-dominated with the presence of managerial employees (or supervisory employees) in Union membership. (Bulletin Publishing Co., Inc., vs. Hon. Augusto Sanchez)

So, the question now is, “In SLU, who are the supervisors who cannot join the UFESLU?” They are the persons who EFFECTIVELY RECOMMEND managerial actions which recommendation requires their INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT. [Art. 212 (m), Labor Code).

Department Heads or Graduate Program Coordinators are chief and often especially-oriented who work with and commonly are in charge of a group of employees in a college. They are the persons designated by the employer-management to direct the work of employees and to supervise and oversee them. They are representatives of the employer-management with authority over particular groups of workers, processes, operations, or sections of the school. They are the link in the chain of command and the bridge between the management and labor. In the performance their work, Department Heads and Graduate Program Coordinators definitely use their independent judgment (like in the evaluation of teachers) and are empowered to make recommendations for managerial action with respect to those employees under their control (like the hiring or non-hiring of a teacher). Their work is NOT basically routinary and clerical.

So….What do you think, are department heads supervisors who cannot be members of the UFESLU?

IV. Maternity leave computation

A faculty member who goes on maternity leave usually will “pay back” to SLU a certain amount when she returns to work. So, employees on maternity leave will NOT use their 60 days (or 78 days) of maternity leave since the longer their leave, the higher the amount that they will PAY to SLU.

The UNION brought this matter to the SLU Administration. However, the SLU Administration insists that its computation is correct and teachers should still “pay back” a certain amount after their maternity leave. Upon an inquiry by the UNION, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) did not accept the computation of SLU. I am sure Father Jess Hechanova knows this problem. Apay ngay nga parparigaten yu apo padi ti empleyado?

V. Summer Loading

The UFESLU submitted to the SLU Administration the following proposals to solve the problem on summer loading:

1. Decrease the minimum class size during the summer term. The minimum class size should be decreased from thirty -five (35) to a MAXIMUM of twenty-five (25) students in each class.

2. Maintain a thirty-five (35) student MAXIMUM for each class (all classes) during the summer term.

3. Averaging. During the summer term, some classes have full fifty students (50) but some classes also have less than the SLU imposed thirty-five (35) student-for-each-class. Since some classes already have 50 students, the classes with less than 35 students should not be dissolved. With this, the need to fill the class to a maximum of 35 students is already solved with the “excess” of other classes.

4. Paid summer in-service work of faculty members such as curriculum development, syllabi upgrading, research work, module making, and other possible work related to their teaching. This summer work will be given equivalent units.

5. Return to the old system of assigning permanent general faculty members for each of the colleges (not globalization) Awanen koma ti globalization…

6. Close coordination with the mother college of general education teachers on the subject offerings during the summer term.

7. The problem on NSTP

8. Allow incoming freshmen to enroll for summer

The answer of the Administration to these proposals? NONE (!)

So, the UFESLU has already filed a case before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) so that this problem will be solved. Mabalin koma nga ma-solve daytoy nga problema ditoy SLU ngem haan met marikna da apo padi ti rigat iti teachers no summer.

We heard that DEANS receive about 60,000 pesos a month. Ofcourse, our VICE-PRESIDENTS and the UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT receive HIGHER. Baka times 2 pa! This means that during SUMMER, these people receive the SAME monthly salary. But for the teachers who are WORKING HARD to TEACH during summer, they ONLY receive about 8,000 a month for three units. (!) APAY NGAY? Apo padi, haan kayo kadi maasi kadakami?

VI. Holiday Pay

The SLU Administration has NOT PAID us our holiday pays for the holy week (March 21 and 22), Independence Day (June 12). Its reason is that these holidays ARE NOT PART OF THE SEMESTER. But we have been receiving holiday pay in the past. Manu lang met apo padi nu bayadan dakami iti holiday pay? Haan met siguro mabawasan iti kinabaknang iti SLU.

VII. The complaints against three MEMBERS OF THE MANAGEMENT

At the onset, it is very important to know that these three individuals are PART OF MANAGEMENT. Please take note later that they have pending cases and yet NOTICE the “penalty” or “action” given to the complaints against them.

The FIRST MEMBER OF MANAGEMENT, whom we shall refer to as “ID,” is accused of bringing home a “boom” without permission from the University. This matter was brought to the attention of Father President who PROMISED to conduct an investigation and impose the PROPER penalty. A few months later, we heard that Father President APPROVED the SABATICAL LEAVE of “ID” for three months. Is this what Father President calls as PENALTY for “ID”? Is it unfair? Look, if an ordinary employee is accused of bringing home (or stealing) something from the University, that ordinary employee will either be DISMISSED or SUSPENDED. But for “ID” (who is a member of the management), he is REWARDED a SABATICAL LEAVE for committing an offense in the University. Apay ngay?

For the SECOND MEMBER OF MANAGEMENT, whom we shall call as “LES,” several teachers complained of a BIASED evaluation tool that “LES” is maintaining. “LES” is reportedly using this evaluation tool to FAIL teachers who are against him. The problem was brought to the attention of the SLU Administration who PROMISED that the matter will be taken up in the in-service seminar of the teachers last May 2008. However, during the in-service seminar, this problem was not taken up. Again, we observe that if it is a MEMBER OF THE MANAGEMENT who is charged of an offense, the SLU Administration IMPOSES a LIGHTER PENALTY or the SLU MANAGEMENT does not take any action to correct said mistakes.

In the case of the Department Head, SHE FAILED in her evaluation from her subordinates and despite protests against the department head from the teachers, the Administration continuous to keep her as department head.

Apay ngay nga haan nga pareho to justice ditoy SLU?

VIII. Salary Increase of the employees

In the computation shown by the SLU Administration, SLU collected LAST YEAR the amount of 420 million pesos from the tuition fee (college only). This school year (2008-2009), there is an increase of 4.5% in the tuition fees for college only. The computation of SLU Administration of the 4.5 % increase is 420 (SLU’s earnings last year) multiplied by 4.5% = 19 million pesos. So, the increase (or incremental proceeds) is 19 million. But, under the law, employees will only get 70 % of the 19 million which is about 13 million. The 6 million (19 million minus 13 million) will be taken by the SLU Administration.

Therefore, SLU Administration will surely get 420 million this year from the tuition fees PLUS 6 million (from its share in the increase.) or 426 million!!!!!!!!

From our share of 13 million, the SLU Administration computed that our salary increase is supposed to be only ONE PERCENT. But the SLU Administration increased this to FIVE PERCENT. Kasla nga naka-utang tayo pay iti SLU Administration.

But looking at the MONEY of SLU this year (426 million!), the SLU Administration can STILL increase our salaries for more than FIVE PERCENT. Isunga mabalin nga umabot inggana 12 percent iti salary increase koma iti employees. But, I guess the SLU Administration is NOT giving the employees a higher salary increase since it is saving for the RESEARCH SEMINAR of the Deans, Heads of Offices, all the Vice-presidents, and the SLU President inBohol, Palawan, Leisure Coast, and Hotels Or maybe, they will AGAIN visit China, Hongkong, India, South Korea, etc. I only hope they could also visit IRAQ!

Apay ngay nga bukbukudan yu ti gawis (grasya)?




Secretary-General, UFESLU